Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Player's Club

I like games, card games especially. Grandma taught me to play gin rummy at a very young age, and it was a wonderful bonding tool (she never let me win). I like Hearts, Spades, I'm a darned good Euchre player, and I'll give ya a run for your money on a cribbage board any day. I think my propensity for cards is an embellishment that came with my left-brain math skills, and also, from a long line of viciously good card sharks in my family. I'm learning to play chess (it's never too late), and so far I suck at it, but I like the process. Mahjong's a blast. You'd think I'd be good at Scrabble, but it's never been my game... I think that I over think it, plus, I always seem to get shitty tiles (XXX ain't nearly as thrilling as it sounds, and I've been known to cop not just a few z's and all I gets is weary). I played a good game of Trivial Pursuit back when the answers still made sense (so many are obsolete now). Games are fun though - they pass the time in a thought-based manner, bring people together, and add some fun, wit-sharpening competition to life. I like those kinds of games just fine.

But.
(cue PeeWee Herman) "Everyone I know has a big But. C'mon... let's talk about your big But."

Heart games... mind games... *shakes head ruefully* Yeah, I'm sure you can see where I'm headed. Y'all are out there rollin' your eyes thinking, "Ah, crap. Here she goes again... just when I thought I was gonna peacefully relive my Milton Bradley childhood." Sorry, no such luck.

Heart games and mind games... can we all just agree to quit playin' 'em?! What's the use? Whom do they benefit? Nobody. Not the player, not the played upon. Manipulating another person's mind is a cruel trick and a totally unloving thing to do. Toying (if you'll pardon the wordplay) with someone's emotions is as vicious as rape. (Yeah, I said that. It's an invasion of that person's trust, after all.) Beyond all that, it's unnecessary. You want something from someone? Be direct. Ask about it; talk about it. If you don't get adequate response, or if you don't feel you've been heard, ask louder; ask differently. Still dissatisfied? Seek answers elsewhere. Be the best you, and the rest will follow.

I was recently accused of being the impetus for an other's depressive downward spiral, by refusing a request for which I just wasn't at all inclined. Uh uh. Sorry, I don't buy that. We are each responsible for our own emotional reactions. We are each personally responsible for the way we deal with what comes at us in life. My good friend Timothy likes to say, "No one can make you feel anything. It's all on you." Amen, Brudda T.

I felt that the accusation was an attempt to manipulate my feelings; an effort to dig a hole into which I might jump; a shot at eliciting an emotional response from me in order to gain... what?! I replied to the accusation by saying so, in so many words. In response, I received what I thought was a heartfelt, "Goodbye." Fine by me. I don't need manipulative people in my life - been there, done that, didn't get a freekin' t-shirt, close the curtain, exit stage left.

And then... (which is almost as big as my 'but')
I received another message stating that my lack of remorse is troubling. Um. Hmm. Troubling because that person didn't get what they wanted... still? Troubling because the game didn't play out the way that person wanted it to? Troubling because said person can't handle looking in the mirror, so it's easier to polish someone else's huck o' glass? Well, here's the Windex, pal... have at it, but you're not going to find any of your answers in my reflection.

The message went on to say that I'd been loved, time spent with me had been cherished, and now my actions (yes, the onus is entirely on me here, for some odd reason) have caused that person a month of misery because, as it was stated, this person "may s
till love" me (evil bitch that I am - go figure). Well, I can't say it any better than Keb' Mo' did in his song,
That's Not Love:No that's not love,
'Cause you don't feel good inside.
I don't know what it is,
But that's not love.

Do yourself a favor. Don't play games, don't accept them. I once worked with a brilliant Lutheran theologian who explained it this way: If someone bounces the ball into your court and you don't catch it and throw it back - game over. If the other person perceives that they've won a point... oodelally, big freekin' whoopie doo. It's their game after all.

Find your ground and stand it. Be you! Be honest with yourself - you're the only one who's in touch with your feelings and only you can control them.

In other news: External Validation takes a 1-2 TKO blow to the head. Tune in tomorrow for more on this, and other breaking stories.

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